Tanzania Presidential Race: Magufuli ahead in partial results, Zanzibar nullifies election outcome

MR.PRESIDENT?: Dr. John Pombe Magufuli of the ruling CCM is ahead in results released thus far

MR.PRESIDENT?: Dr. John Pombe Magufuli of the ruling CCM is ahead in results released thus far

Tanzania’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) has officially announced election results for 164 constituencies indicating the governing Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Presidential candidate Dr John Magufuli leading his opposition challenger Edward Lowassa of Chadema and UKAWA by 57.21 percent of the vote.

Justice (rtd) Damian Lubuva announced in Dar es Salaam, Magufuli garnered 2,461, 771 total votes whereas Lowassa got 1,764,785 votes equivalent to 41.01 %.

The country’s electoral body was expected to announce full results of Suday’s general election 48 hours after voting but vote tallying is still ongoing at the moment.

There more than 260 constituencies and eight political parties participated in the most competitive election in the history of the East African nation.

NEC has thus far announced the ruling CCM has secured 135 parliamentary seats with Chadema coming in second with 35, CUF (23), NCCR-Mageuzi (1) and ACT-Wazalendo (1).

In Dar es Salaam, the country’s commercial capital, the opposition alliance UKAWA outperformed the ruling party grabbing seven out of ten parliamentary seats. It should be noted that 10 cabinet ministers belonging to CCM have lost their parliamentary seats to the opposition UKAWA.

Lowassa disappointed in the results, will not accept them

Opposition Presidential candidate Edward Lowassa of Chadema and UKAWA has expressed disappointment in elections results currently being announced by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) saying he will not accept the results.

The Monduli politician and former premier who was highly competitive in the race for the state house said there is clear evidence the election results have been disrupted and tampered with by NEC executives in collaboration with CCM.

“Most of the results are fabricated, malicious and were plotted purposely to lift-up Chama cha Mapinduzi candidate Dr John Pombe Magufuli,” he told reporters in Dar es Salaam.

Meanwhile, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) has indefinitely nullified presidential election results in the Isles charging the election was not free and fair, Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporations (ZBC), reported Wednesday.

ZEC Chairman Jecha Salum Jecha said the decision was reached after it was established that votes outnumbered registered voters in Pemba.

The Chairman also said there were cases of votes being counted outside designated polling stations and also a significant number of voters never picked up their IDs to vote.

The commission also blamed political parties for interfering with the commission’s work in managing and monitoring the electoral exercise.

“There has been complaints among political parties, indicating dissatisfaction of the election process from voting, tallying to announcements of election results,” Jecha said in a statement.

Also, there have been reports of political party agents infiltrating the commission and try to alter results in favour of their parties and this led to internal fighting between election commission personnel.

“My commission failed to announce the results on time due to some inconveniences and according to powers vested in me I hereby announce the cancellation of the election held Sunday October 25,” the Zanzibar Electoral Commission chairman announced.

This development deals a big blow to Seif Sharif Hamad, Civic United Front (CUF) and opposition alliance UKAWA presidential candidate in Zanzibar who announced Monday morning he had defeated his ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) challenger Ali Mohammed Shein with 200,077 votes to 178, 363.

US alarmed by the annulment decision

The United States Embassy in Tanzania, announced Wednesday the US government is “gravely alarmed by the recent statement of the Chairman of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission in which he announced his intent to nullify the results of the Zanzibari presidential election.”

The Embassy stated the decision to nullify the polls and results “halted an orderly and peaceful election, as evaluated by observer missions from the U.S. Embassy, European Union, Commonwealth, and Southern Africa Development Community, and a tabulation process nearing completion.”

The United State called for the decision to be rescinded urging “all parties to maintain a commitment to a transparent and peaceful democratic process.”